Do I have to pay for car rental expenses for the person whose car I hit with my door?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have to pay for car rental expenses for the person whose car I hit with my door?

One day my door swung open and it hit the car next to me. I told the owner and agreed to pay for the

damage. I paid for the damage. She had to rent a car and she wants me to pay for it. I do not have car

rental on my insurance. Do I have to pay for her car rental?

Asked on July 28, 2017 under Accident Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If, as appears to be the case, you were at fault in causing the damage (e.g. were negligent or careless in how you opened the door) and she needed to rent a car while her car was being repaired, you are liable for the reasonable cost of a comparable rental (e.g. she can't upgrade her ride) for the reasonable amount of time it would typically take to make the repairs, since renting a car under these circumstances is a foreseeable (e.g. logical or predictable) consequence of damaging her car. If you were to not voluntarily pay this amount, she could sue you for it (e.g. in small claims court) and would very likely win.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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